The Schengen Visa Code requires a review of EU visa fees every three years.

The European Commission is set to increase Schengen visa fees from June 11, 2024. Slovenia’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs confirmed that while visa fees for adults will increase from EUR 80 to EUR 90 for adult applicants beginning, visas for children aged six to twelve will also increase, from EUR 40 to EUR 45. Furthermore, countries not cooperating with the readmission of their irregularly staying citizens in the EU may face visa fees rising to EUR 135 or EUR 180.

“The European Commission adopted a decision to increase short stay Schengen visa (visa type C) fees worldwide by 12 per cent. The increase will apply worldwide as of 11 June 2024,” the Slovenian government said in a statement.

The fee increase follows a review of EU visa fees in December 2023, which occurs every three years as mandated by the Schengen Visa Code. The EU cites inflation and civil servants’ salaries as reasons for the hike. The last increase was in February 2020 when fees rose from EUR 60 to EUR 80.

The decision has sparked dissatisfaction, notably among Turkish citizens awaiting a visa-free agreement with the EU. In 2023, the Schengen Area received over 10.3 million short-stay visa applications, a 37 per cent increase from 2022 but still below the 2019 peak of 17 million applications.

The Schengen area includes 29 European countries, with 25 being EU states. The countries part of the Schengen area are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Indian Travelers to Europe
Indian nationals have shown a growing interest in European travel, with a 43 per cent increase in Schengen visa applications in 2023 compared to 2022. India ranked third in visa applications, with 966,687 filings. Chinese nationals led with 1.1 million applications, marking China’s return to the top spot since 2018. SchengenVisaInfo reports that over 10 per cent of 2023 applications were from Chinese nationals, followed by Turkish and Indian nationals.

India's economic boom fuels record Schengen visa applications despite delays

Despite this surge, India maintained its third position in Schengen visa applications only after China and Turkiye who hold the top two spots. Overall, Schengen visa applications globally surpassed 10.3 million in 2023, marking a 37 per cent increase from 2022. However, the surge has overwhelmed consulates with concerning issues of insufficient available visa interview slots and causing disruptions to the travel plans of numerous Indian travellers.

The European Commission introduced a new visa “cascade” regime for Indian nationals, easing access to multi-entry visas with extended validity. Indian nationals residing in India can now obtain a two-year multi-entry visa after lawfully using two visas within the previous three years. This can be followed by a five-year visa, allowing short stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

  • Published On May 21, 2024 at 06:12 PM IST

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